News

China, Japan Make Little Progress on Troubled Relations

Luis Ramirez

Nobutaka Machimura
A visit by Japanese Foreign Minister Nobutaka Machimura to Beijing did not achieve a breakthrough in easing tensions with China, although Chinese officials say that Tokyo has taken steps in the right direction. This comes as Chinese officials describe the two countries' relationship as being the worst since 1972.

At the end of Foreign Minister Machimura's trip Monday, Japanese diplomats were disappointed that Chinese leaders had refused to meet with him, and he did not get the apology he sought for mobs that pelted Japanese facilities with rocks and excrement.

Still, Japanese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hatsuhisa Takashima said he sees no reason for Japan to downgrade its relations with China.

"The economic relations between Japan and China are so good that the trade volume has already exceeded that of the United States and Japan," he said.

There are signs both countries want to ease mounting tensions. Japan has proposed a commission to address issues that China says triggered the protests. And a Chinese official said Japan's repeated apology for its early 20th century aggression was a step toward healing relations.

Mr. Machimura also reaffirmed Japan's policy of recognizing Taiwan as a part of China - words Beijing wanted to hear.

Some Japanese diplomats indicated they do not know what more China wants from Tokyo to ease the dispute.

Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Wu Dawei told reporters earlier Monday that both countries would need to work further to improve relations.

"Some serious difficulties are emerging in China and Japan relations," he said. "We should say that these problems are the most difficult, and the most serious, problems since the realization of normalized diplomatic relations between China and Japan in 1972."

The two governments are discussing the possibility that Chinese President Hu Jintao and Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi will meet later this week at the Asia-Africa Summit in Indonesia.

A series of demonstrations over the past few weeks have sharply reduced the number of Japanese tourists visiting China and raised concerns among Japanese businesspeople, who are pressing their government to resolve the dispute.

The protests have centered on a number of issues, including Japan's approval of textbooks that some Chinese believe gloss over Tokyo's invasion of the country in the 1930s. The topic has become prominent as Japan seeks a permanent seat on the U.N. Security Council, something the Chinese government says should not happen until Japan more fully atones for its past.

Japanese officials say they have apologized many times and hope new discussions might clarify exactly what China wants Tokyo to do.

 

 

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountaini
X
July 02, 2015 4:10 AM
Environmentalists in South Korea are protesting a Winter Olympics construction project to build a ski slope through a 500-year-old protected forest. Brian Padden reports that although there is strong national support for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are growing public concerns over the costs and possible ecological damage at the revered mountain.
Video

Video Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountain

Environmentalists in South Korea are protesting a Winter Olympics construction project to build a ski slope through a 500-year-old protected forest. Brian Padden reports that although there is strong national support for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are growing public concerns over the costs and possible ecological damage at the revered mountain.
Video

Video Xenophobia Victims in South Africa Flee Violence, Then Return

Many Malawians fled South Africa early this year after xenophobic attacks on African immigrants. But many quickly found life was no better at home and have returned to South Africa – often illegally and without jobs, and facing the tough task of having to start over. Lameck Masina and Anita Powell file from Johannesburg.
Video

Video Family of American Marine Calls for Release From Iranian Prison

As the crowd of journalists covering the Iran talks swells, so too do the opportunities for media coverage.  Hoping to catch the attention of high-level diplomats, the family of American-Iranian marine Amir Hekmati is in Vienna, pleading for his release from an Iranian prison after nearly 4 years.  VOA’s Heather Murdock reports from Vienna.
Video

Video UK Holds Terror Drill as MPs Mull Tunisia Response

After pledging a tough response to last Friday’s terror attack in Tunisia, which came just days before the 10th anniversary of the bomb attacks on London’s transport network, British security services are shifting their focus to overseas counter-terror operations. VOA's Henry Ridgwell has more.
Video

Video Obama on Cuba: This is What Change Looks Like

President Barack Obama says the United States will soon reopen its embassy in Cuba for the first time since 1961, ending a half-century of isolation. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Hate Groups Spread Influence Via Internet

Hate groups of various kinds are using the Internet for propaganda and recruitment, and a Jewish human rights organization that monitors these groups, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, says their influence is growing. The messages are different, but the calls to hatred or violence are similar. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video US Silica Sand Mining Surge Worries Illinois Residents, Businesses

Increased domestic U.S. oil and gas production, thanks to advances known as “fracking,” has created a boom for other industries supporting that extraction. Demand for silica sand, used in fracking, could triple over the next five years. In the Midwest state of Illinois, people living near the mines are worried about how increased silica sand mining will affect their businesses and their health. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh has more in this first of a series of reports.
Video

Video Blind Somali Journalist Defies Odds in Mogadishu

Despite improving security in the last few years, Somalia remains one of the most dangerous countries to be a journalist – even more so for someone who cannot see. Abdulaziz Billow has the story of journalist Abdifatah Hassan Kalgacal, who has been reporting from the Somali capital for the last decade despite being blind.
Video

Video Texas Defies Same-Sex Marriage Ruling

Texas state officials have criticized the US Supreme Court decision giving same-sex couples the right to marry nationwide. The attorney general of Texas says last week's decision did not overrule constitutional "rights of religious liberty," and therefore officials performing wedding services can refuse to perform them for same-sex couples if it is against their religious beliefs. Zlatica Hoke reports on the controversy.
Video

Video Rabbi Hits Road to Heal Jewish-Muslim Relations in France

France is on high alert after last week's terrorist attack near the city Lyon, just six months after deadly Paris shootings. The attack have added new tensions to relations between French Jews and Muslims. France’s Jewish and Muslim communities also share a common heritage, though, and as far as one French rabbi is concerned, they are destined to be friends. From the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, Lisa Bryant reports about Rabbi Michel Serfaty and his friendship bus.
Video

Video Saudi Leaks Expose ‘Checkbook Diplomacy’ In Battle With Iran

Saudi Arabia’s willingness to wield its oil money on the global diplomatic stage appears to have been laid bare, after the website WikiLeaks published tens of thousands of leaked cables from Riyadh’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video In Kenya, Police Said to Shoot First, Ask Questions Later

An organization that documents torture and extrajudicial killings says Kenyan police were responsible for 1,252 shooting deaths in five cities, including Nairobi, between 2009 and 2014, representing 67 percent of all gun deaths in the areas reviewed. Gabe Joselow has more from Nairobi.

VOA Blogs